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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2008 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Julie Gardner, "Judy Burd" Award - Windham School District

2008 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Julie Gardner volunteers on various TDCJ units teaching classes related to women's health issues. The three (3) hour class is offered twice a day, every 30 days with more than 50 offenders attending each session. Topics include general nutrition information; making healthy food choices; fat; sugar; calorie content in food; how to read a nutrition label on packaged food; healthy menus for families; and other important health information.

The offenders are always surprised about the misconceptions they have regarding food choices. Julie answers many questions, makes helpful suggestions and provides excellent handout materials. She also provides an in-service class to staff every 60 days on various topics. Julie is always helpful, courteous, informative and has been an invaluable resource for the staff and offenders. Because of her dedicated volunteer work, Julie has been selected to receive the prestigious "Judy Burd" Award.

This award is named in tribute to curriculum specialist, Judy Burd, who was employed with the Windham School District where she developed the nationally recognized pre-release program CHANGES. She was also the WSD Volunteer Program Coordinator and, in that capacity, encouraged many to give of their time in service to others. Judy Burd was well qualified for this role as she volunteered at the local alternative education program, and for several years taught adult education at night in her community, helping many learn to read and write.